Former striker Clinton Morrison has rushed to the defence of Yves Bissouma, stating Antonio Conte should start the midfielder for Tottenham amid a hypocritical stance.
Bissouma was linked with most of the Premier League’s top clubs, including Arsenal and Liverpool, as he headed towards the final 12 months of his Brighton contract. However, it was ultimately Tottenham who won the race for his signature.
They announced Bissouma’s arrival on June 17, with the player penning a four-year contract at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
According to reports, Conte’s side paid £25million to land him. Brighton were hoping to receive £30m when agreeing his exit but couldn’t hold out for this due to his contract running down.
Bissouma arrived with big expectations after several great seasons with Brighton. He had become one of their best players under Graham Potter, who now manages Chelsea.
The Malian made his Spurs debut in the first Premier League game of the new season. He came on for the last four minutes as Spurs beat Southampton 4-1 at home.
Conte wanted to slowly integrate Bissouma into the team. But this wasn’t the only reason why he was barely featuring in the Spurs starting eleven.
On Friday, Conte explained that Bissouma is struggling to cope with the team’s tactics. He said: “The only (new) player that is struggling a bit with the tactical aspect is Bissouma. But also he is improving a lot in every aspect, so I am sure when we start again and play 12 games, for sure he is another player I can count on.”
The Italian added: “With Bissouma, we are trying to accelerate this process, but for sure when you arrive in a team well organised with an idea of football, you need a bit of time to go into this idea of football.”
Pundit criticises Conte over Yves Bissouma treatment
Morrison, who represented Crystal Palace and Birmingham City during his playing days, thinks Conte is being hypocritical.
Morrison reckons the best way for Bissouma to get used to the Spurs system is to start Prem matches. So far, he has only played a full 90 minutes in the league once.
“He doesn’t understand because he isn’t playing at the moment,” the pundit said on Sky Sports (via HITC).
“I know they work on stuff in training but you have to give him minutes. I think he has had one full start and that was the Forest game. It probably didn’t go to plan like Conte wanted him to do.
“He’s been playing [Rodrigo] Bentancur and [Pierre-Emile] Hojbjerg. But I think Bissouma is an outstanding player.
“How can he not know the style of play or the system that suits Tottenham?! There are a lot of fans calling for him to be called in and be amongst that midfield. I do think he’s a good player. But give him minutes and let him showcase his ability.”
Conte clearly wants to be 100 per cent sure on the 26-year-old before starting him ahead of Bentancur and Hojbjerg. This is completely understandable as Prem games can be swayed so easily.
But Morrison raises a good point, as there is only so much Yves Bissouma can learn from training. It would be good for the midfielder if Conte gave him a start in Spurs’ first match back after the international break.
They play north London rivals Arsenal on Saturday October 1 at 12:30. Of course, this is a huge game, but Bissouma has shown with Brighton that he has the ability to shine in important matches.
Meanwhile, James Maddison admits there is ‘a sigh of relief’ now the transfer window is shut, after Tottenham and Newcastle made approaches to sign him from Leicester this summer.